Jerek was in charge of the cows. He did not want to be in charge of the cows - in fact, it was his contention that cow-chargery was the single dullest occupation in the whole of existence. Yet Jerek's father had a bad leg; it was injured during the war, as he told everyone who would listen. And Jerek's mother had to be home at all times so that she could pray for Jerek's older brother Joseph, who had run away from home some two years before.
So it fell to Jerek to watch the cows. The cows stood, and chewed the grass. Sometimes they stared at other cows.